1732 – Ben Franklin first publishes Poor Richard’s Almanack.
The Almanack contained the calendar, weather, poems, sayings and astronomical and astrological information that a typical almanac of the period would contain. Franklin also included the occasional mathematical exercise, and the Almanack from 1750 features an early example of demographics. It is chiefly remembered, however, for being a repository of Franklin’s aphorisms and proverbs, many of which live on in American English. These maxims typically counsel thrift and courtesy, with a dash of cynicism.
1843 – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is first published in London.
Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past, such as carols, as well as new customs such as Christmas trees. He was influenced by experiences from his own past, and from the Christmas stories of other authors, including Washington Irving and Douglas Jerrold. Dickens had written three Christmas stories prior to the novella, and was inspired to write the story following a visit to the Field Lane Ragged school, one of several establishments for London’s half-starved, illiterate street children. The treatment of the poor and the ability of a self-interested man redeeming himself by transforming into a more sympathetic character are the key themes of the story. There is discussion among academics as to whether this was a fully secular story, or if it is a Christian allegory.
Published on 19 December, the first edition sold out by Christmas Eve; by the end of 1844 thirteen editions had been released. Most critics reviewed the novella positively. The story was illicitly copied in January 1844; Dickens took action against the publishers, who went bankrupt, reducing further Dickens’s small profits from the publication. He went on to write four other Christmas stories in subsequent years. In 1849 he began public readings of the story which proved so successful he undertook 127 further performances until 1870, the year of his death. A Christmas Carol has never been out of print and has been translated into several languages; the story has been adapted many times for film, stage, opera, and other media.
1875 – Carter Godwin Woodson, “father of black history”, is born.
Carter G. Woodson was born in Buckingham County, Virginia on December 19, 1875, the son of former slaves, James and Eliza Riddle Woodson. His father helped Union soldiers during the Civil War and moved his family to West Virginia when he heard that Huntington was building a high school for blacks.
Coming from a large, poor family, Carter Woodson could not regularly attend school. Through self-instruction, he mastered the fundamentals of common school subjects by the age of 17. Wanting more education, he went to Fayette County to earn a living as a miner in the coal fields, and was able to devote only a few months each year to his schooling.
1924 – The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London, England.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost name refers both to a car model and one specific car from that series.
Originally named the “40/50 h.p.” the chassis was first made at Royce’s Manchester works, with production moving to Derby in July 1908, and also, between 1921 and 1926, in Springfield, Massachusetts. Chassis no. 60551, registered AX 201, was the car that was originally given the name “Silver Ghost.” Other 40/50 hp cars were also given names, but the Silver Ghost title was taken up by the press, and soon all 40/50s were called by the name, a fact not officially recognised by Rolls-Royce until 1925, when the Phantom range was launched.
The Silver Ghost was the origin of Rolls-Royce’s claim of making the “best car in the world” – a phrase coined not by themselves, but by the prestigious publication Autocar in 1907.
1949 – Israeli scientist Orna Berry is born.
Orna Berry was born in Jerusalem to Raisa and Yoash Tzidon (Chatto) and was raised and educated in Tel Aviv and France. In 1967, she drafted into the Israeli Air Force, where she served as an officer for the flying school until 1970, terminating her military service as a lieutenant. Her desire to acquire a profession which can be practiced globally, despite being dyslexic, influenced her decision to choose a career in science.”
Berry received her MA and BA degrees in Statistics and Mathematics from Tel Aviv University and Haifa University, respectively. In 1979, she joined the University of Southern California (USC) in the United States were received in 1986 her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Southern California, a fellowship from the RAND Corporation
1972 – The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt, returns to Earth.
On December 19, the crew jettisoned the no-longer-needed Service Module, leaving only the Command Module for return to Earth. The Apollo 17 spacecraft reentered Earth’s atmosphere and landed safely in the Pacific Ocean at 2:25 pm, 6.4 kilometers (4.0 mi) from the recovery ship, USS Ticonderoga. Cernan, Evans and Schmitt were then retrieved by a recovery helicopter and were safely aboard the recovery ship 52 minutes after landing.
2016 – Adafruit publishes Circuit Playground D6 Dice in the Learn System
Dice are another one of those game related items that have been around for a long time. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but the most common is the basic 6 sided dice, otherwise known as the D6.
In this guide, we’ll show how we can simulate a D6 dice on the Circuit Playground using the NeoPixels to represent the various patterns of the dice face. We’ll also use the accelerometer to simulate “rolling the dice” by detecting shaking. And because we can, we’ll add a tap detect feature for quick and easy rolling.